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I will not give up the dream....

Old 05-28-2011, 10:05 AM
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I will not give up the dream....

I've been reading a great book: From Anger to Forgiveness, by Earnie Larsen. I started it for myself and ended up reading it first with eyes on the RAH - wow should he read this book - and then started it again with eyes firmly planted back in my own head. I also need to read this book! Keeping it on my side of the street...

Anyway - here's a passage that really hits home for me:

10 Defenses We Have Against Seeing The Truth:
#5: I choose to stay stuck in this bad place because I will not give up the dream.

"Many of us have this fixation regarding a relationship. Even if the hoped-for reality is wildly impossible under the present circumstances, there are those of us who won't abandon our quest to be involved with another person because "I just don't want to give up the dream". But the fact may well be that if we are not willing to move on, we will never have anything but a dream.

To stay in a bad place does not mean that somehow, someway, everything is going to be fine. It doesn't even mean that it won't get worse. What it means is that willful blindness is not the same thing as persevering idealism. Perhaps the dream itself doesn't have to be given up, but only our version of it. Perhaps the dream is not possible with this person - not because this person is bad, but because the relationship is not working. There may be no more hope for it. If you are stuck in a dream world, it may be helpful to get down the elements of your dream in black and white. On paper, what does your dream look like? Is it also your partner's dream? is it reasonable or rational for you to cast other human beings, willing and able or not, into your own fantasies? Who is responsible for your dreams?"

Food for thought this long holiday weekend...
~T
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Old 05-28-2011, 10:45 AM
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I like that. I like the reframing of the dream in a new context. That quote made me think of one I read in a book by Deb Caletti, "The Secret Life of Prince Charming" (really a young adult novel, but well worth reading for people who've been in dysfunctional relationships):

I want to rewrite that part of the Bible, I donít know what itís called, Iím not a big Bible person. Corinthians something. The one that goes, ďLove is patient, love is kind,Ē et cetera, et cetera. Not that there isnít good things in it. But I remember thereís a part in there that says there should be no end to loveís faith and endurance. And sometimes there should be an end. We need to call a halt and not persist in some grand hope of some grand love. Some people are not capable of love. Of maintaining a relationship. Itís sad, but itís true.

So: Love is ease, love is comfort, love is support and respect. Love is not punishing or controlling. Love lets you grow and breathe. Loveís passion is only good passion Ė swirling-leaves-on-a-fall-day passion, a-sky-full-of-magnificent-stars passion Ė not angst and anxiety. Love is not hurt and harm. Love is never unsafe. Love is sleeping like puzzle pieces. Itís your own garden you protect; itís a field of wildflowers you move about in both freely and together.

.
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Old 05-28-2011, 11:07 AM
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This goes well with what I just said in my feeling like a mess post. I know what I am doing is trying to make AH be what he "should" be to fit into my dream of being able to stay home more of the time and homeschool my kids, while my husband works full time and is more responsible. I actually said all this to AH today, that I cannot and have no right to make him be who I want him to be. OTOH though I do not have to be married to someone who is so different from my dream, either.
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Old 05-28-2011, 01:28 PM
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ba-ZINGGGG!
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Old 05-28-2011, 02:17 PM
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Thanks for the responses! It's good to know that there might be other men here in the same position. I have to admit that after reading the responses, I want to say to myself, surely it isn't that bad. I mean, we're surviving and functional for the most part. She takes pretty good care of us and the finances. It's just this on thing. How can I talk anyway since I also have addictions?

It is going to be difficult to not second guess myself on this. It's really just the feeling held hostage part. If that would go away, I could manage the rest.
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Old 05-28-2011, 05:42 PM
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Beautiful passage, thank you for sharing it.
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Old 05-29-2011, 08:14 AM
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Thank You for this post. I feel like I am stuck. I know I am stuck because of my own unrealistic dream of a life that just keeps fading further and further away.
I know I have to stop fighting the inevitable-he does not want to stop drinking, I cannot have a heathy relationship with him if he is drinking.
Yet I do not want to admit defeat. I don't want to give up the fight even if he gave it up long ago.
After a year of separation I still cannot take my wedding ring off. Doing so would symbolize that I am ready to move on. I want to be ready but I still don't feel ready.
I still sleep just on my side of the bed. I cannot use his dresser or closet. Its like I am waiting for him to come back. It's not healthy.
My friend keeps reminding me, "What would you do if he showed up today and said he wanted to come back."
The rational me would say that I could not go back to living the way we were. That I could not take on the enormous challenge of rebuilding trust and respect if he is not in recovery.
The dreamer/codie in me might not be quite so strong.
But the point is moot anyway. He does not want to be in a relationship right now. He wants to do his own thing (drink). This may last the rest of his life.
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Old 05-29-2011, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by jamaicamecrazy View Post
Thank You for this post. I feel like I am stuck. I know I am stuck because of my own unrealistic dream of a life that just keeps fading further and further away.
I know I have to stop fighting the inevitable-he does not want to stop drinking, I cannot have a heathy relationship with him if he is drinking.
Yet I do not want to admit defeat. I don't want to give up the fight even if he gave it up long ago.
After a year of separation I still cannot take my wedding ring off. Doing so would symbolize that I am ready to move on. I want to be ready but I still don't feel ready.
I still sleep just on my side of the bed. I cannot use his dresser or closet. Its like I am waiting for him to come back. It's not healthy.
My friend keeps reminding me, "What would you do if he showed up today and said he wanted to come back."
The rational me would say that I could not go back to living the way we were. That I could not take on the enormous challenge of rebuilding trust and respect if he is not in recovery.
The dreamer/codie in me might not be quite so strong.
But the point is moot anyway. He does not want to be in a relationship right now. He wants to do his own thing (drink). This may last the rest of his life.
I think the premise behind this passage in the book is what happened last week when I went to see my therapist. I told him I was still angry but feeling lost on what to do next...things with the RAH aren't really changing much. Still getting a lot of blame and denial to my reality; my experience of living with an alcoholic, etc... I said I felt lost and stuck in regards to what to do next.

My therapist, after a long pause where he stared intently at me, started laughing! He said, "of course you know what to do...you just don't want to do it". He was right for calling me on my 'stuck' thinking. I am not stuck. I am making a choice to feel stuck. I don't have to choose that. I can choose to feel free if I want.

Then I went to an Al-Anon meeting where we talked about finding our "true perspective" and acceptance of our reality. Wow - combined with the therapist, I got a double dose of seeing the need to let go of my distorted thinking, which is what I believe it is.

So, IMHO, feeling stuck is where you are right now, but it is not where you have to remain if you don't want to. That's your choice. That's your power. Do I want to give this man power over my feelings anymore? No! Because life goes on, and I am not spending another day watching it go by outside my window.

Reframe it, as lillamy says above. It's a perspective shift. And when you are ready for it, you'll make the same choice.
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Old 05-30-2011, 04:12 PM
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I just have to put my 2 cents in about the quote from lillamy's book. I don't think 1 Corinthians is speaking about romantic love. It is one of my favorite quotes, though:

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4"

I think it challenges me to dig into am I loving in each given situation. I would argue one can end a relationship and still have loved. We may not like, but as a Christian I know I must still love (and I don't mean romantic love). I know my idea of love has been reframed over and over...and this quote has helped me immensely.
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